for this game

Smith, Howell lead Tennessee's rout of Louisiana-Lafayette

Dec 1, 2007 - 4:40 AM KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Tennessee used a balance attack and efficient 3-point shooting to cruise over Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday.

Tyler Smith scored a season-high 22 points to go along with eight assists and seven rebounds as the 12th-ranked Volunteers led from start to finish en route to a 98-70 rout of the Ragin' Cajuns at Thompson-Boling Arena.

"It is good to see Tyler Smith play so well," Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl said. "That is three games in a row where he has shot well, passed well, rebounded, and been to the free-throw line. It gave him a chance to show what a fine player he is."

Tennessee (7-1), which made only 14 of a school-record 50 3-point attempts (28 percent) in Tuesday's victory over North Carolina A&T, had five players in double figures and shot 48 percent (12-of-25) from the arc in this contest.

Jordan Howell added a career-high 17 points for the Volunteers, who have won seven of their first eight games for the third time in five years.

Tennessee started the game on a 9-2 run and never looked back. Smith's layup with 12:51 left in the first half pushed the Volunteers' advantage to 19-6 and Tennessee led by at least 11 points the rest of the way.

"They are an outstanding shooting team," Louisiana-Lafayette coach Robert Lee said. "If you make one mistake, defensively, they will make you pay. We gave up way too many open looks in our transition defense, especially from the 3-point line."

The Volunteers ended the half on an 8-0 run capped by a Howell 3-pointer as time expired to give Tennessee a 46-27 lead at the break.

Howell and Smith each had 11 points in the first half to lead the Volunteers, which held the Ragin' Cajuns to 30 percent (7-of-23) shooting in the opening 20 minutes.

"We played one of the most talented teams in the country," Lee said. "For us to win this ballgame, we needed to be almost perfect in every phase of the game, and we did not do that."

Tennessee made its first four shots of the second half and JaJuan Smith's 3-pointer gave the Volunteers a 61-34 advantage with 16:11 to play.

Senior guard Chris Lofton, who was 8-of-20 from the arc in Tuesday's win for the Volunteers, scored just seven points on 2-of-5 from the field.

"I am puzzled Chris Lofton only gets five shots tonight," Pearl said. "We are trying to get him opportunities, but he gets so much attention that the other players get open, like Tyler Smith tonight. If our opponents want to take away Lofton, that's fine."

Chris Gradnigo scored 15 points to lead the Ragin' Cajuns (1-4), who have lost four straight.

    --- --- -----
    UL LAFAYETTE 27 43 70
    TENNESSEE (12) 46 52 98 FINAL

    Nov 30 9:27 PM


    Nov 30 8:20 PM